In between school and work tonight, I decided to try out the Google Earth flight simulator mode. It looks like the joystick issue I remember it as always having has been fixed in the most recent version, or at least, for the Saitek Cyborg Evo series.

I decided to try modifying the .acf file that configures the "aircraft". This file is located in (Root Programs Folder)\Google\Google Earth\client\res\flightsim\aircraft . I modified the F-16 file to approximate the flight dynamics I usually get when doing my FPV flying wing.

Probably not too useful for autonomous UAV research, but it provides a fair approximation of what flying from the front seat is like without having to actually go flying FPV. Fun for practicing for FPV as well.

The file I modified is this: f16.acf

Just replace the current existing F-16 file of the same name in the folder path mentioned above.



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Comment by Rana on June 4, 2010 at 12:01am
Stephen, hats off to you for your great initiative !
Can it receive data (GPS & IMU) externally from X-Bee ?
You need to put some more writeup as to how you are interfacing your joystics / radio.
Comment by James Turner on June 4, 2010 at 6:32am
Nice work Stephen! I tried using google earth filght simulator a while ago but it was far too quick to be of any use as as sort of trainer. Can't wait to give this a go.
Comment by Orland on June 5, 2010 at 8:16pm
Check the google Earth API: http://code.google.com/intl/de-DE/apis/earth/documentation/index.html
(Pretty nice - with a little coding... you can do something like this):

http://earth-api-samples.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/demos/drive-simulator/index.html

And the best of it: it works in any browser with the new google earth plugin.
Comment by David M Eno on November 30, 2011 at 2:48pm

I like this it could really add some safety for FPV pilots. 

Comment by AVS on November 30, 2011 at 3:33pm

yep it could be awsome. i made a gcs a year or two back, using the google api. giving the same type of views plus a bit more. it worked well but consumed a lot of cpu power

good to know about the config file names but i couldn't find an program api control of the sim settings such as speed, position,roll/pitch etc. it's easier to do this stuff with the google earth browser plugin but it doesn't work off-line. 

if you find anymore info about the sim i would love to hear about it thanks.

Comment by AVS on November 30, 2011 at 3:36pm

forgot to say, the top picture is first person view from the plane which was flying towards it's first waypoint. (in test mode after going around again)

Comment by David M Eno on November 30, 2011 at 6:55pm

The only problem I have with the file is that in order for this to be more like an FPV craft the image needs to be cropped and enlarged.  I don't know if that is possible, but right now it still feels like I'm flying a full size aircraft.    

Comment by Stephen Carlson on November 30, 2011 at 6:59pm

Hmm..

 

I think GE has gone through two revisions since I released the original file. True, the field of view could be modified, but, at least for me, the flight model is much more aggressive and fast for roll and pitch (as an aerobatic flying wing should be), but with a cruise speed of about 14 m/s.

Comment by David M Eno on November 30, 2011 at 7:19pm

The speed and field of view are really what bother me.  I fly a shitty bixler (sky surfer).  

Comment by David M Eno on November 30, 2011 at 7:24pm

I don't go very fast....

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